The mission of WEDC Senior Providers’ Network is to inform, educate and connect older adults, their families, and caregivers with life-enhancing resources across Westchester Country, NY by drawing on the knowledge and collective experience of its women member professionals. Find out more about WEDC by clicking the button below.
Nancy Kessler has a passion for working with seniors and started collecting stories at a very young age when she frequently visited her 90 year old neighbor Mrs. Blanchet. Her interest in oral history and folklore blossomed and she eventually pursued a career in historical museums. After graduating Skidmore College and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, she was a Curator at the Museum of the City of New York. In addition, she was the Therapeutic Recreation Director for Atria Rye Brook (independent living facility) and Greenwich Adult Daycare (Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care). Nancy is on the Board of Directors of the Women's Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) and is the founder of the WEDC Senior Providers' Network. Nancy Kessler is a frequent speaker for civic organizations and teaches Memoir Writing at the Scarsdale Adult School. http://www.memoirsplus.com
Joan Nimmo, LCSW, has been working with people with dementia and their caregivers for over 20 years. She received her MSW from NYU and practiced in New York City before moving to the Berkshires, where she had a private practice for 12 years working with elders and caregivers in their homes. During that time she also worked with the Alzheimer’s Association training both professional and family caregivers and was an adjunct professor at Berkshire Community College. Presently, she works for Family Services of Westchester at the intergenerational social adult day program, My Second Home at White Plains, where she is the social worker. She is also the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Coordinator, doing outreach in the community to disseminate information about Alzheimer’s Disease.
Abby Rosmarin, Esq., LMHC, is a family mediator, conflict coach and group facilitator. She draws on her training and experience in law, conflict resolution, and mental health to mediate a wide range of family disputes and help people who feel they are misunderstood, ignored, or dismissed resolve conflict. She also facilitates support and psycho-educational groups for those navigating life transitions.
Abby is both an attorney and a licensed mental health counselor and has specialized training in Medical Bioethics. For more information about Abby, please refer to the links attached below.
Karen Caccavo Personal Money Manager, holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.She is in her ninth year as a daily money manager, also known as a financial organizer. Her clients, located in Westchester, Rockland, and Manhattan, are primarily seniors and the disabled.
As a daily money manager, Karen describes herself as “part bookkeeper, part organizer, part social worker”-- all skills that are required when working with seniors and their paperwork, their finances, and their families. Karen is a volunteer leader with the National Association of Professional Organizers, heading their Working with Seniors SIG, and President of the GNY Chapter of the American Association of Daily Money Managers. She has presented to a variety of professional and community organizations including the Financial Planning Association of the Greater Hudson Valley and Professionals in Aging Network. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted her in their article “When Aging Parents Need Help with Financial Tasks." http://www.wsj.com/articles/when-aging-parents-need-help-with-financial-tasks-1465783622
Allison Jaffe NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker Seniors Real Estate Specialist As a NY State Licensed Real Estate Broker, Allison Jaffe is a sole practioner who gets the best terms possible for Seller and Buyer clients while providing essential services to facilitate their transactions from start to finish. Key Real Estate Services also enables legal, financial, and eldercare advisors to offer value-added services to their clients with real estate concerns. Key Real Estate Services covers the broad New York City metropolitan area in order to serve multi-generational families who have dispersed from upper Manhattan throughout the Bronx and surrounding suburbs. As a Certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Allison works with older homeowners and their families to facilitate the sale of a long-time home when it is time to find a residence to accommodate the needs of later life or to settle an estate.
Joanne Taylor owns the Senior Helpers Westchester office and leads all aspects of the business. Senior Helpers is an international non-medical home care network. Joanne knows firsthand how difficult it can be to serve as caregiver, advocate and loved one at the same time. After navigating the senior care market to provide and choose care for two of her family members, Joanne was moved to make a career change from financial services. She knows firsthand how difficult it can be to serve as caregiver, advocate and loved one at the same time. Joanne honed strong operations and management skills as a COO, analyst, management consultant and commercial banker. She is passionate about providing the highest quality care possible to Westchester's seniors and supporting and training caregivers and other staff. Joanne strives to provide the best possible care to extend her clients' desires to age in place and remain independent at home. She holds a B.S. in finance and marketing from Georgetown University and a M.B.A. from New York University's Stern School of Business.
Susanne Leary Shoemaker is the founder and chief executive of Undercare Inc. The company’s cleverly designed product line offers dignity and independence to individuals who struggle with limited mobility. Susanne came up with the idea to design specialty, patented underwear that does not require one to bend, balance, or stand on one leg in order to get dressed. Instead of placing one’s feet and legs through a leg opening, you simply wrap and fasten your undergarment with soft and flexible Velcro. Once on, Undercare looks, feels and functions like traditional underwear. The product line will also include swimwear and athletic wear soon. Whether one has chronic or acute mobility impairment, Undercare can help. It is helpful to caregivers as well.
Susan Ross is the founder/owner/publisher of Westchester Senior Voice magazine, www.westchesterseniorvoice.com a publication connecting ages 55+ with the local businesses, services and professionals that serve Westchester County's boomers and seniors. Inspiring readers to celebrate life and enrich the journey ahead, WSV also delivers relevant and meaningful information so they can age wisely.
Susan has spent her entire career in media and publishing. In her mid-20s, she co-founded and was the long-time publisher of several local parenting publications including New York Family, Westchester Family and The Baby Guide. She also co-created Family Marketing Network, an agency representing over 100 local parenting magazines across the country in advertising sales. After selling these properties, she worked in online digital advertising, including a stint at the Conde Nast site Epicurious.com.
Susan holds an MBA from Cornell University and is a Certified Senior Advisor.
Karen Ganis Program Director, RideConnect has been working with older adults in various capacities since 1999, when she lost her father to Alzheimer’s Disease. She is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association, and was most recently the First Vice Chair, and Chair of Development for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Board of Directors. In addition, Karen is the founder and Director of RideConnect, an information, referral and volunteer transportation program that has been providing transportation services to older adults throughout Westchester County since 2010. Karen holds a BA in Environmental Science from SUNY Albany, and a MBA from Pace University.
Daryl Moss the owner and founder of Mission to Wellness, LLC, a company dedicated to helping its clients on the path to a healthier, happier, less-stressed life. She is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, and received her training at the Institute for Integrated Nutrition in New York City, with an additional certificate in health counseling from Teachers College at Columbia University. Her specialties are weight loss, digestive issues, and gluten-free living. Daryl works one-on- one with most of her clients, and also does group programs and cooking workshops. In addition, Daryl runs a two week whole food based cleanse, The Synergy3 Cleanse and Wellness Program, with two colleagues. http://www.missiontowellness.com
Sheri Hametz is the founder of Peak Executor Solutions LLC. She holds an Economics degree from Brown University and a law degree from New York University School of Law. She is a former litigator who practiced complex commercial and insurance recovery litigation at top New York City law firms for a dozen years, providing counsel to Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies in multi-million and billion dollar litigations, battling insurance companies and piecing together lost or incomplete insurance policies for her clients. She has served as the Treasurer of a not-for-profit corporation and as the Executor of multiple estates. She is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Westchester County Inc., a select group of professionals who focus on estate planning and estate settlement. Sheri is a business professional who brings an unparalleled depth of experience and sophisticated understanding, the ability to deal with complex details quickly and effectively, and a sensitivity to her clients’ needs and confidences.
"What I've always found most satisfying about my legal cases is taking a morass of facts and carefully unraveling them into a coherent narrative for my clients. That mastery of the facts was the key to the success of all my cases, and has been essential to my work as an Executor. In one estate, for example, I identified over $100,000 in assets that the family didn't know existed. That amount more than offset the estate.” http://www.peakexecutor.com
Patricia Kuusisto, LCSW
Individual, Family & Group Therapy There is no question; life is a process that challenges us, especially as we age. We all will face illness, trauma, change, conflicts, and, inevitably, death. Regardless of the issue, feelings of despair, fear, grief, anxiety, and depression arise in us all.
We do find ways to get through the crisis. We may even come to recognize rat the darkest moments can turn out to be our greatest teachers. They show us the depth of our resilience, courage, and wisdom. However, coping alone can be difficult at these critical and transitional times. We can benefit greatly knowing we are not alone. Even though it may be unfamiliar, asking for help is vital.
For more than 30 years, I have worked to create a unique, holistic process to help people successfully negotiate the waters of their life cycles. We integrate traditional counseling, life-cycle education, body-oreinted modalities, creative arts, and spiritual practices. Using this approach allows us to discover and share our vulnerabilities. We come to realize we are not along and "what belongs to one belongs to all. Although we may not have it all together, together we have it all."
Linsey Levine, M.S. in Career Development and Licensed Mental Health Counselor provides counseling for mindful transitions as we age. Twenty years ago, basically at mid-life, she made a critical decision to go back to graduate school and got a Masters in Career Development. She spent the best 20 years of my life as a Career Counselor/Coach helping people ‘get unstuck, get clear and get moving’ to discover themselves, and find new work that’s in alignment with who they are, what they need, and what they value. Linsey is a on a new journey now; moving away from job search, resumes, and the career world towards a heart-centered, practical approach assisting peers in the “senior, elder, aging” stage to live a conscious life with intention and purpose. As a member of The Senior Providers’ Network, her mission is to counsel and support the 60+ community through assessment and dialogue: to create positive outcomes, nurture individual’s strengths so we can give back, and together, play productive roles in supportive communities. Still helping others to “get unstuck, get clear, get moving”.
Debra Lang, Owner of Seniors Helping Seniors of Westchester and Putnam Counties
Several years ago, while I was helping a 92 year-old member of my church community pack up his apartment after his wife passed away, I was truly inspired by his stories…as together we looked at the photographic evidence of a full and well-lived life, I gained keen insight into the challenges and changes that come as we transition through life’s stages. It was also at that time that it became clear how important it is for seniors to have strong support…and who better to provide that support than another senior who understands the aging process firsthand!
In February of 2013, Debra opened her Seniors Helping Seniors franchise, a unique non-medical home care agency, serving Westchester and Putnam Counties, which pairs active, skilled, local senior caregivers with senior clients who need practical, cost-effective help with day-to-day things or companionship to help cope with feeling isolated or lonely. Our senior caregivers provide respectful, compassionate, one-to-one support to help seniors enjoy life to the fullest while remaining independent in their own homes. http://www.seniorcarenorthwestchester.com
Gianna O. Corona, Esq., is an estate planning and estate settlement attorney at Cane & Boniface, PC in Nyack, New York. Gianna is admitted to practice law in both New York and Connecticut. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Trusts and Estates Section, as well as a member of the Rockland Business Women’s Network. Gianna graduated magna cum laude from Concordia College New York where she majored in Business Administration, was a fellow in the honors program, and played NCAA Division-II basketball. While at Concordia she was selected to be featured for a Profile in Excellence and received the Borgen Prize business award. She graduated cum laude from Pace University School of Law where she was Executive Editor of Pace International Law Review.
Anna Diehl is the founder of Awaken Seniors LLC. Awaken Seniors is a sensory program which engages all five senses, improving the quality of life for older adults. Over many years of visiting older friends and family in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices, Anna became interested in creating ways to connect and reassure those living in isolation by using activities that incorporate familiar comforting smells, textures, movements, sounds and images. There is extensive scientific research proving that sensory stimulation can help the elderly with cognitive impairment and even strengthen their senses. The Awaken seniors program was developed to enrich the lives of elders and to help those with diminishing cognitive abilities.
Formerly a VP for an international auction house, Anna brings her experience as a leader, manager and strategist to Awaken seniors LLC. She is a certified hospice volunteer, an AFA (Alzheimer Foundation of America) Certified Dementia Care Partner of America, DCPA and holds degrees in Economics and Art History from Rutgers University.
Sue Groppe has over 35 years of experience in the field of Geriatrics. Over 15 years ago she opened her practice as a Geriatric Care Manager, serving families in Westchester and Rockland County.
She has worked with hundreds of individuals helping them to live more independently even as they suffered from debilitating illnesses.
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in Occupational Therapy, Sue received her MS degree in Community Health Administration with a specialty in Geriatrics from Long Island University.
Sue provides assessments to her clients in their homes and sets up short and long term goals to obtain safety. Some of the tasks that are completed during the assessment are home safety and recommendation of appropriate adaptive equipment, coordinate services that might include hiring home health aides, coordination of doctor’s appointments and medication management.
When appropriate, Sue facilitates and recommends appropriate placement in assisted living communities and or nursing homes.
Sue does a full review of financial status to determine what level of care is affordable and will complete Medicaid applications and pool trusts as indicated. She works closely with elder care attorneys in the community.
Sue will perform a one time assessment or doing ongoing management meeting regularly with the client and communicating with family members.
Sue belongs to a variety of professional organizations in both Geriatric Care Managing and Occupational Therapy and volunteers in programs for seniors.
ASID, NCIDQ Certified
Elissa started her practice over 20 years ago as an architectural space planning and interior design firm serving the residential,medical and professional communities.
Her goal in working with her clients has always been to develop designs that are beautiful, functional, supportive and have a timeless quality. She is not a one size fits all designer. Each individual client, home, office, shop, building and budget informs the design development and decisions. She works collaboratively with her clients to insure their home or office reflects their tastes, lifestyles, needs and budget.
For the medical and dental community, she has developed skills to translate individual technical requirements –– equipment needs, traffic flow, work habits and patient psychology—to create efficient, well designed facilities that minimize stress while emphasizing comfort for doctors, staff and patients.
Elissa has been praised for her ability to understand her client’s needs and to translate them into excellent design solutions. She has a unique ability to understand and work collaboratively with contractors and trades people to successfully manage build out. She comes in on time, on budget, and when requested sets a framework for the development of future projects.
Rhode Island College B.S. Education and Biology
Parsons School of Design: Certificate of Interior Design
The Open Atelier of Design: Intensive year study in NYC
RN, MSN, MS-Interior Design,
Following completion of her Masters Degree in interior design, Marianne focused on designing welcoming environments for people with increased physical limitations due to health issues and/or the aging process.
She has worked for several large and small architectural firms in the New York area involved in hospital and senior living facility design as well as her own firm.
Most recently, she was a Professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She developed and taught a graduate level course in Heathcare Design focusing on hospital and senior living residence design for the aging population.
She prides herself on being organized, meeting project deadlines, and being an effective communicator. Her greatest satisfaction is gained from enhancing her client’s ability to remain independent, safe and happy wherever they choose to call home.
Boston University MS Cardiac Nursing
Pratt Institute MS Interior Design New York
Lynn Lavender, CLTC, is an insurance professional protecting the lifestyles and assets of both individuals and employees. She specializes in Life Insurance, Disability Income Insurance and is well known in the area of Long Term Care Insurance.
In addition to working with her private clients, for several years she was the Regional Business Development Business Manager for the second largest Long Term Care insurer in the U.S. She was responsible for sales and supporting financial advisors at the major investment firms in the New York Metro area. Lynn was also selected by one of the largest unions in New York State to work with its members to educate and help them choose the most appropriate Long Term Care coverage. In addition she has conducted employee information meetings at major corporations introducing Group Long Term Care benefits.
In the summer of 2002 Lynn was selected to participate in the rollout of The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. She was part of the national team of 17 professionals that introduced the new benefit to more than 88,000 Federal Employees and Annuitants. Over an intensive six-month period, under the auspices of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Lynn addressed audiences throughout the Northeast from Washington, D.C. to Boston.
She has conducted CPE classes for accountants and trained other financial services professionals. Her speaking credits include workshops conducted on behalf of the Governor’s Office and NYC Advisory Council, The NYC Women’s Bar Association, The CFP® Forum in NY, The NY Society of Security Analysts and Barnard Alumni.
Lynn has extensive business experience. Her corporate background includes positions in technology sales and administrative positions with IBM, Western Union and NYNEX.
Molly Olivia Roffman, PT MA CEEAA
Owner and Director
StepWISEnow Balance Fitness & Fall Prevention
Molly is a New York State licensed physical therapist specializing in fall prevention and balance fitness.
Molly’s experience in the rehabilitation of patients who sustained fractures and other fall-related injuries inspired her to develop StepWISEnow Balance Fitness, a comprehensive balance training and fall prevention practice offering progressive, evidence-based programs for adults of all ages and skill levels.
Molly combines her background in dance, physical therapy, movement science and her love for teaching in providing each of the StepWISEnow programs.
“It’s wonderful to be able to reach so many people at once with programs that have been proven to be effective.The knowledge that falls CAN be prevented and that these programs can make a difference is cause for real optimism.”
Credentials, Training Certifications and Programs offered by StepWISEnow
▪ BA Dance and Psychology, Connecticut College, New London, CT
▪ NYS Licensed Physical Therapist, Hunter College, NY
▪ MA Movement Science, Teachers College, Columbia University NY
▪ Certification as an Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult (CEEAA)
▪ Master Trainer for A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls
▪ Certified Instructor for Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance
▪ Certified Instructor for Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention
▪ Certified Trainer for Otago Balance Home Exercise Program
▪ Certified Instructor for Restorative Yoga
▪ Certified Zumba Gold and Zumba Gold Chair Instructor
▪ LSVT BIG for Parkinsons Instructor (Spring 2017)
▪ Pilates for Older Adults (Spring 2017)
▪ Research Participant:New York State Department of Health Older Adult Fall Prevention Program/ACL Fall Prevention Grant 2015-2017
Sherry Saturno, LNHA, LCSW, DCSW is the CEO of Elder Advocacy, a group specializing in geriatric and eldercare consultation for elders, families, and professionals. Sherry is dually licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator and Clinical Social Worker. She is a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, and holds Master's degrees from Columbia University School of Social Work and Long Island University School of Management and Public Service. Sherry is a Stanford Certified Project Manager, and graduated from a National Post-Graduate Fellowship in Palliative and End of Life Care at New York University Silver School of Social Work. She also completed a Foundation in Aging Certification at Boston University Center for Aging, Disability Education, and Research. Sherry is credentialed through the National Association of Social Workers as a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers; Certified Qualified Clinical Social Worker; Certified Social Worker in Health Care; and Certified Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology. She is an Eden Alternative Long Term Care Practitioner. Sherry has been published in Social Work Today Magazine, The New Social Worker Magazine, and the National Association of Social Workers’ Social and Economic Justice & Peace Journal. She has been a presenter at Columbia University School of Social Work, New York University Silver School of Social Work, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, and the Nursing Home Social Work Network. Sherry is a national award winning specialist in aging, and has been honored with the following awards from the National Association of Social Workers: Champion of Social Justice for the State of New York; Social Worker of the Year for the State of New York; Social Worker of the Year for Westchester County, New York; and National Media Award Recipient for Best Documentary Film for the short documentary film “Human Investment”, which she wrote and produced. She was also named a Rising Star by the Business Council of Westchester, New York.
Up Coming Events....
Navigating Aging for Families
Whether you're a senior or a concerned family member, each class will address issues relevant to aging. The classes, taught by a team of professionals who provide services for seniors, will offer help with the practical and emotional challenges faced by seniors and their families as they face the inevitable changes encountered as loved ones age. We will tailor the class to address the individual needs and interests of the students. Some of the topics included will be:
1. Aging In Place Safely, Aging In a Safe Home, Aging at Home Safely
2. Maximum Fitness: Maintaining Body and Mind
3. Overcoming Isolation & Finding Community
4. Paperwork solutions
4. Legal & Financial Actions
5. Successful Techniques for Difficult Conversations: Change is hard, talking about it is harder
6. When you can't do everything you want, get the help you need.
7. Caring for caregivers
Scarsdale Adult School
Tuesdays, September 12- October 17, 2017 7:00-8:30 PM
Networking meetings Are open by invitation only
On the third Tuesday morning 8:45-10AM at the Lanza Center for All Ages, White Plains.